Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by railtrailbiker
 
Metro North commuters got a chance to weigh in on the next generation of rail cars.

The railroad recently convened a focus group of five riders from Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y. and had them view artists renderings of potential car designs after a tour through one of the cars currently used on the New Haven line.
http://1010wins.com/topstories/local_st ... 81806.html[/quote]

  by benltrain
 
i don't find "five riders" to be qualified as a say for all riders. they should have a public meeting about it.

i personally hope they have seating arrangements like the M7, but better seats

  by M1 9147
 
My theory in this is why can't they do something similar to what LIRR has in its C3's and what NJT has in the new Comet 6 bilevels in the 2x2 seating pattern. Maybe that is what they might say, but that's anyones guess.

  by DutchRailnut
 
If the ordered the cars with 2x2 seating they would need 1/5th more cars.
something not just easy to explain to legislature.
It would also require each and every train to be 1/5th longer or to run 1/5th more scheduled trains to provide same amount of seats to commuters, resulting in a operating cost 1/5th higher due to manning and energy cost.

  by pnaw10
 
The five participants (...) were paid $150 for the focus group session and the railroad, citing privacy reasons, did not release their names.
Um, if that money came from the MTA, there's no "privacy reasons" allowed. What happens with taxpayer money is public record. No publically-funded agency can legally "hide" where it's spending its money. I don't see what the big deal is anyway, they just asked a few people their thoughts on a few drawings.

The bigger issue here though, is that I agree with benltrain ... five people does not a legitimate focus group make. Even if there are going to be more focus groups over the coming months, 5 people here and 5 people there are nothing when you consider how many thousands of riders are on the trains every day.

And people should already realize that the designers will do what they can to make the trains look more spacious, but let's be real. They aren't spending big bucks for cars that seat fewer passengers than the cars being replaced. And I believe (but I'm not quite 100% sure) we already discussed once before, that bilevel cars weren't an option for Metro-North because the Park Ave. tunnel wasn't tall enough? If that's not it, I could have sworn there was some other reason or else they would have done it already.

  by LIRailfan79
 
the new cars will almost definately hold less people, due to the ADA requirnments. just look at the M7.
  by SimplySam
 
Dutch's point about needing 1/5 more cars, trains, crews etc is true in theory but since in practice middle seats are often left empty I am not sure 2x2 seating really hurts the usable capacity of the car. Now the ADA is a different story...

  by Nester
 
pnaw10 wrote:
The five participants (...) were paid $150 for the focus group session and the railroad, citing privacy reasons, did not release their names.
Um, if that money came from the MTA, there's no "privacy reasons" allowed. What happens with taxpayer money is public record. No publically-funded agency can legally "hide" where it's spending its money. I don't see what the big deal is anyway, they just asked a few people their thoughts on a few drawings.
I agree that public money comes with public disclosure. If the railroad can release to the press the names of the top 5/10 highest grossing transporation department employees, they can release these names as well.

I also agree that 5 people isn't an adequate sample. They should have been able to find 50 people based on the mail and ride list alone.

Nester

  by FEC_Fan
 
Nester wrote:I agree that public money comes with public disclosure. If the railroad can release to the press the names of the top 5/10 highest grossing transporation department employees, they can release these names as well.

I also agree that 5 people isn't an adequate sample. They should have been able to find 50 people based on the mail and ride list alone.
1. Don't ever take what you read/hear in the media as the entire story, because it never is. There were significantly more than the 5 people the reporter happened to observe. Focus groups were held over a 3 week period with many different groups of people with different stakes in the design.

2. The MTA hired a firm which conducts the focus groups, and it was that firm that got the participants and paid them. The firm, being a private company, is not subject to the FOIL. The more important question is this: Why would anyone want/need to know their names? Planning on accosting them to find out what they said? You can FOIL the transcripts of the sessions if that's what you want.

  by Nester
 
FEC_Fan wrote:
Nester wrote:I agree that public money comes with public disclosure. If the railroad can release to the press the names of the top 5/10 highest grossing transporation department employees, they can release these names as well.

I also agree that 5 people isn't an adequate sample. They should have been able to find 50 people based on the mail and ride list alone.
1. Don't ever take what you read/hear in the media as the entire story, because it never is. There were significantly more than the 5 people the reporter happened to observe. Focus groups were held over a 3 week period with many different groups of people with different stakes in the design.

2. The MTA hired a firm which conducts the focus groups, and it was that firm that got the participants and paid them. The firm, being a private company, is not subject to the FOIL. The more important question is this: Why would anyone want/need to know their names? Planning on accosting them to find out what they said? You can FOIL the transcripts of the sessions if that's what you want.
1. The media frequently gets things wrong, and it doesn't come as any surprise that this story is wrong too. To leave out the fact that this was one of many sessions is a big screwup, though.

2. I would want the names to make sure that the participants weren't employees, relatives of employees, potential contractors, or their employees/families. MN and the MTA as a whole is a very political beast. Getting the names (or the disclosure forms that indicated that they have no connection to the pending contract(s)) is about transparency and honesty. I don't care what each person individually said, since I have no context - I don't have the drawings.

Nester

  by DutchRailnut
 
If you want input as I have stated before go to Connecticut Rail Commuter Counsil meetings, don't complain about others making your decisions, I see no name like Nester or Dieter anywhere on last two forum minutes ?? overhere your preaching to choir, go to the meetings and make an impact if not your just barking up a tree.
http://www.trainweb.org/ct/minutes.htm for instructions were next meeting takes place see:


Wednesday February 15 – 6:00 pm

CDOT Offices, Union Station, New Haven CT

http://www.trainweb.org/ct/agenda.htm

  by Nester
 
1. I never said that I wanted input. I stated that a sample of 5 is statically garbage given how many people ride the New Haven Line.

2. My name isn't Nester, just as yours isn't DutchRailNut. Neither one of those names would show up in any minutes, assuming that the recording secretary even bothered to list all of them on the minutes.

3. Dieter didn't post in this thread -- why drag him into it?

4. As my avatar suggests, and my location information confirms, I don't live in Connecticut. I shouldn't have to go to their Rail Commuter Council meetings. NY is paying for 35% of the order and so I can direct my comments and suggestions to Metro-North or the MTA.

Why go to Stamford when I can get the same results at 347 Madison?

Nester

  by Dieter
 
For my money, the M-7 TOTALLY FLUNKS THE ADA.

In a society with an aging population, the seats are too close together, preventing one from standing and turning to any degree without bending to such an angle that one must support oneself. This makes getting a coat on and off while getting out of the aisle impossible.

Oh, and the M-7 aisle is now the narrowest in our rail history, making it even more critical for there to be enough space between the seats to prevent blocking the aisle....... The two seaters and the aisle were made narrower to give the poor fool in the middle of a three-seater more room. Gee, how about going back to TWO AND TWO seating?? Gee, forgive me I almost forgot what I was told by MTA Representatives; That THAT doesn't fit into the scope of things. Forget comfort, the idea is just to get you from "A" to "B", PERIOD.

I was told one day that I could sit in the configuration where the seats face one another. Great. Play kneesies with someone, and there's nothing to grip to get up. The Frenchman in LaPocatiere who designed all these hand-grabs thought he had that problem covered, obviously he doesn't have any ambulatory issues.

Please, I invite all of you to board an M-7 with a bulky winter coat and briefcase, whatever, get out of the aisle and try and remove your coat and get settled between two seats as you would in an M-1 or standard carriage. Its a travesty that we're stuck with this garbage for the next 30 years. STOP SCRAPPING THE M-1's, or redesign the deeply flawed M-7. Just because it looks cool, doesn't mean it rules.

Dieter.

P.S. Dutchrailnut, to echo Nester, do you really think I would use my real name here, OR the same pseudonym in a public forum? I do not use CDOT regularly. If you want to make a case with CDOT as you should if you're a regular under that domain, you can use the ammo we supply here and fire it yourself at the CDOT board.

The M-7 is a technological wonder of a 21st Century Cattle Car. We found out the hard way what it is to use regularly, and are providing you with the facts you need to prevent ending up with the same junk on New Haven rails. We've made the snowball you need, now go and throw it before it's too late for YOU.

I don't care if you can plug it in and a diagnostic runs on a screen to tell the maintenance staff what the problem is. If it kills my back and legs after a ride, it's scrap!

D.

  by DutchRailnut
 
Dieter the M7's have the widest aisle in New York transit and they are wide enough for a wheelchair, this resulted in the seats being 1/3 " narrower on average. first you guys want investigation to see if employees gave opinion and now you want employees to voice your concerns ??? As far as Im concerned as long as engineers seat is comfortable and the train works great and I am ok.
As far as passengers If they don't want input hell stack them up and pack them in.

  by Dieter
 
Alright, now I'm bringing a tape measure aboard on Monday, because I don't see how that can be possible.

Dutchrailnut, you say that the aisle is the widest going? I don't doubt you, but then it's the widest today. In the old Budd Coaches that went to the torch in the mid 80's, two people could get around each other in the aisle without an awkward contortion.

The M-7 seats bow outward in the mid section (on the sides) like a fat guy. These seats are also higher on BOTH sides than in the coaches, and there's more clearance with the lower seat on one side as well, for anyone turning with a package, or a lady with a large purse.

I was looking at the narrowness of the aisle by the bathroom where it's flared to a point, and if a wheelchair can get through there, it's got to be a tight squeeze. To be continued.

Dieter.